You have a Facebook Fan Page, a Twitter account and a LinkedIn profile; blog every day, have a Tumblr account for on the go posts, a YouTube channel where you post cool new industry-related videos and even have a pimped-out Google+ page.
So why hasn't business picked up?
You might have the very best social media marketing program and the widest possible social media network, but if you haven't mastered the art of excellent customer service it will all be for nothing.
Customer service is the most crucial part of any effective business plan, and it is no less important when it comes to social media. In fact, because social media marketing is relationship marketing, it is even more important. If someone tries to communicate with your company through social media you need to respond, immediately; address their query, resolve their problem and handle them with aplomb, exactly as you would if they were standing at your front counter.
Of course, we have all had our fair share of disappointing customer service in brick and mortar stores, so perhaps handling customer service via social media as you would inside your store is not a good enough analogy. Especially when you consider just how far a disappointed online customer can disseminate their grievance.
In the restaurant business (I was a manager for 10 years) we would say a happy guest will likely tell no one, preferring instead to keep the secret of your excellent service to themselves, but a disappointed guest would tell no FEWER than 10 people. With social media it is now possible for that disappointed guest to reach ONE BILLION people with just a few clicks.
Excellent customer service is as integral to an effective social media marketing plan as owning a computer. If you don't treat your customers right online you will not only fail to reap the benefits, but just might shoot yourself in the foot when it comes to increasing revenue.